Police urge motorists in Hertfordshire to keep their vehicles secure following increase in crime
- Credit: Archant
Motorcyles, mopeds and cars with keyless systems have been targeted by thieves in a ‘small increase’ of vehicle thefts in Hertfordshire.
The county’s police force is advising drivers on how to keep their vehicles secure after vehicle thefts increased by 59 offences in April, in comparison with the same period last year.
While the theft of items from vehicles has remained at similar levels to last year, some parts of the county are still seeing an increase in the number of offences, with vans especially being targeted for tools.
Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “The constabulary has been focussing on reducing theft from vehicles over the last year and it is encouraging to see that this type of crime has reduced. Preventing crime before it happens is the best way to protect individuals and businesses and there are many steps drivers can take to secure their vehicles from theft. Police have been running vehicle security events around the county to help drivers implement some of these and I urge all drivers to follow this advice and take steps to make their vehicles secure.”
Insp Paul Lawrence of the Crime Reduction Team said: “Bikers are advised to take extra security precautions, by securing motorcycles or scooters using an approved high security chain secured to a ground anchor. Consider fitting an alarm and registering the machine with the ‘master’ security scheme run by Datatag.
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“If possible keep the vehicle out of sight in a garage or shed, or consider using a motorcycle cover. If kept in a garage or shed do install an alarm that is on a separate circuit from the household alarm.
“Never leave valuables on view or in your vehicle overnight, as this will entice criminals to break in if they see a bag or a coat in a vehicle. Vans are particularly attractive to criminals as they can easily sell on any tools or equipment left inside. Criminals are now using different techniques to bypass modern vehicle security systems, so please follow our vehicle security advice and make your vehicle secure.”
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• To help prevent theft from your vehicle, the police have the following advice:
Never leave valuables on display
Never leave tools in your van unless they are secured in an approved tool safe
Fit good quality approved additional external locks to van doors
Engrave or mark tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number
Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have one.
If away from home consider parking your vehicle in a ‘Park Mark’ approved car park. www.parkmark.co.uk.
• To help prevent your vehicle being stolen:
Never hand vehicle keys over to a third party or leave the vehicle unattended at a valet parking, car wash or other parking places, where criminals can gain access to the vehicle and code a key electronically.
Consider fitting an ‘OBD safe’, a secure lockable device that fits over the vehicle’s on board diagnostic (OBD) port, in the vehicle cabin. This prevents criminals using software to code a key from the vehicle.
Consider fitting a dual band tracking device that works on VHF/UHF and GPS, to make it more difficult for the tracking signal being blocked.
Criminals can also employ remote/keyless entry jamming equipment so make sure your car is locked by trying the door before leaving it.
Ensure that ‘home’ on your vehicle sat nav is shown as the post code of your local police station and not your actual home address.
Use an approved steering wheel lock and never leave your vehicle unlocked – even for a moment.
If your vehicle has a keyless start system, make sure that you store your key as far away from your vehicle as possible, and place in a metal box if possible.
To help drivers secure their vehicles the police have teamed up with www.ProtectAVan.co.uk who are offering a 10 per cent discount to drivers that live or work in Herts, on Thatcham approved security devices, such as tool safes, steering locks and security marking of tools and vehicles.
More advice on how to make your vehicle safe is available at: www.herts.police.uk/crimeprevention.